Sunday night's TNA pay per view was a complete disaster. How much longer can Panda Energy fund this sinking ship? With Dixie Carter's mother Janice now overseeing the spending, how much longer can Bob Carter allow the bleeding to go on? How long until Spike TV executives Doug Herzog, Kevin Kay and Brian Diamond are sick of seeing their network resources squandered by Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo?
A few months ago, the talk of the pro wrestling world was Dixie Carter's pursuit of The Mad Scientist himself, Paul Heyman. The former owner/operator of ECW, whose character creations and development spearheaded pro wrestling's 1990s boom period, understands network politics and family-controlled enviroments, since he was also the head writer for WWE Smackdown. Heyman's run as Smackdown's head writer was perhaps the most critically acclaimed era for the show, and while Raw was running angles like HHH having sex with the corpse of Katie Vick, Smackdown was kicking ass with Brock Lesnar, Los Guerreros, Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle, Edge, and Rey Mysterio. Heyman also took advantage of the developmental system and was the 1st to call John Cena to the main roster.
A letter posted on the Wrestling Observer website stated tonight: "This PPV was terrible. It featured no good matches aside from the Tag match and the rest was just ok - absolutely terrible. Some of the matches were watchable, but the last 3 matches (Which were the MAIN EVENTS OF THE PPV) were all absolutely terrible and really killed the show for me and many others. This show was one of the worst mainstream PPVs of the year and an insult to us as wrestling fans. If it wasn't for the tag match this would be UNQUESTIONABLY the worst PPV of 2010. Thank you TNA for making me move one step closer to leaving this promotion forever."
It seems to be the consensus opinion.
Even when something is done very well, like the Team 3-D Retirement Match, it's watered down because of how many fake stipulations Bischoff and Russo have burned through. Seeing Sabu forced out right afterwards was depressing, not emotional. Tommy Dreamer should have retired with the closing of the original ECW. He doesn't belong in a wrestling ring anymore. He's slow, awkward, and a bad worker. He works hard, but that's all he has. He's a buzzkill.
The finishes are convoluted and contrived, The constant mentioning of Dixie and her family is so obvious a carny shell game, and yet the blind boss just doesn't understand she's being played by these charlatans.
Dixie Carter had a rare chance to do something that would have turned the entire wrestling business on its ear. Paul Heyman left WWE in December, 2006 and has not done a single shoot tape or convention. He is writing his own autobiography and co-authoring former UFC Champion Brock Lesnar's book. While Heyman's relationship with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is unknown at this time, even Dave Meltzer speculated Heyman could easily grab a consulting job from WWE if he wanted it.
He has apparantly chosen to not go that route.
Heyman opened an advertising firm with noted New York commercial director Mitchell K. Stuart, and his 1st client was EA Sports. The 5 videos Heyman produced, all of which featured personality-driven vignettes on Strikeforce fighters, were embraced as quality work and brilliant by the MMA community.
Heyman's appearance on Ariel Helwani's AOL Fanhouse "MMA Hour" this summer was very telling, as their amazing 90 minutes saw Heyman reveal a little of his plan for TNA. Build to the future. Get rid of the old guys.
One day, Dixie Carter and Spike TV are going to look back at the fact they didn't give Paul Heyman a chance to do for TNA what Dana White did for UFC, and that is going to be the point in history where TNA really jumped the shark.